London: David and Frederick Barclay, the billionaire owners of the Daily Telegraph, bid more than £600 million ($751 million) for London’s Grosvenor House hotel, the Sunday Times reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter that it didn’t identify.
The property was put up for sale three years ago by its current owner, the Sahara Group. The company is controlled by Indian businessman Subrata Roy, who was imprisoned in early 2014 for allegedly defrauding investors and released on parole. The Times said Roy must raise £1.3 billion in bail and has a deadline of Monday to deposit several hundred million pounds to the Indian regulator.
Sahara also owns majority stakes in New York’s Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels. On 3 July, Associates Capital Management Ltd, an investment vehicle of several wealthy UK families, and two Middle Eastern partners submitted a $1.3 billion bid for Grosvenor House and the two New York stakes, a bid hampered by the complexity of the financing behind the hotels, the Times said.
The Barclay brothers are only interested in buying Grosvenor House, a luxury hotel operated under the JW Marriott brand next to Hyde Park in London’s Mayfair neighbourhood, the Times said. The talks may fail to produce a deal given the messy sales process, the newspaper cited the person as saying.Bloomberg
Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint’s editor and some reporters over the newspaper’s coverage of the company’s dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Mint is contesting the case.